Post by sunnyberra on Sept 14, 2012 9:19:25 GMT -5
Keri - that's exactly what I meant. In a fight, it's about being lean and quick enough to twist and get the soft spots and places cats can't quite defend themselves. Cats are quick, but that ferret slinky-ness is perfect to get their enemy's underbellies and privates. I wasn't talking about day-to-day stuff at all (iac, they're usually clumsy little beasts. The only times mine aren't are when they want to kill something, which with Yogi, Sian and Hiko, is usually a kit), curse my inability to type what I'm thinking, the first go 'round
Mama to Yogi, Sian, Hiko, Rula, and Anya.
D.I.P. Yew (08), Pixie (12), and Neera (13). You're forever in my heart.
Ah, ok, I see. That makes sense. I searched around for more info online about ferrets and cats getting along, and most of what I found supported the idea that cats have a hard time dealing with ferrets... Ferrets having tougher skin, being so low to the ground and flexible / slinky, they can squirm around and the cat just can't contain them haha...
I've also read that the instinctive kill moves of cats and ferrets differ and that could be part of it. Ferrets have the locking jaws and I guess cats don't, for larger prey cats tend to use their rear claws to disembowel prey and that move just doesn't work on a low-down, slinky, tough-skinned ferret ;D Whereas a ferret can quickly chomp down on an exposed body part and leave the cat in a world of hurt.
Very interesting! If I do get the kitten I will definitely be very careful about introductions and if there is any sign that the ferrets think he's prey they will no longer get visiting privileges LOL...
My concern at an early age is for the kitten, later on you would have to watch both. It is suggested in the book "Ferrets for Dummies" that kittens should not be placed with ferrets until they're four months old. This allows them to get strength and coordination that will allow them to avoid the ferrets if the need is there. I've seen the ferrets get the upper hand on the cats and they're tenatious predators. I've also paid the vet bills for Mad Max who lost a round with my one cat. That was an ongoing battle that ended the day that Mad Max passed on. I think it started out innocently enough, the ferrets always pester the cats. Up until that point other than a nose smack, no one got hurt. It appeared to start when Merlyn hurt Nicodemus, caught him in one of those cat embrasses and used his back claws on poor Nico's tummy. If it had been anything other than a ferret it probably would have done serious damage. As it was Nico had claw marks that ran from his ribs to his groin from Merlyn's back feet. Merlyn then opened up Mad Max's tongue. Mad Max went in for surgery for that one....the tongue had been split from back to front. There were 4 stitches needed to sutur the tongue back together and a certain amount of tongue removed because the flesh was too badly damaged to repair. After this incident the hunt was on. Mad Max would stalk Merlyn and attack at every opportunity waiting for Merlyn to fall asleep in the sun, eating at the food bowl, resting on the sofa, in a chair... and attack him. The attacks were very very aggressive with full intent to do damage, aiming for throat and soft underbelly. In the end Merlyn got the last shot in by seriously damaging Mad Max's one eye making him blind in that eye. Mad Max still attacked occasionally but it was no longer an obsession (having no depth perception at all put Max at a considerable disadvantage). Even now, in his crippled state, the ferrets give Merlyn a wide berth and rarely attack him, even when he's stretched out in the sun. ciao
Wow. Scary stuff. I've actually been on the receiving end of those nasty rear cat claws myself. I KNOW from experience how much damage cats can do on my own skin, the scars have faded but man it was painful... Maybe this is why I assume cats are far more deadly than ferrets? One sure did a number on me!
One time when I was much younger and more foolish, there was a stray cat that lived outside our apartment where I was staying. It was sort of friendly but sort of not, and very skinny. One day it caught a bird and was hiding under an old refrigerator with it.
The cat was toying with the bird, what seemed to me like torturing it. I thought about trying to save the bird from the cat, then feeding the cat something else to try and make it our friend. I put on a leather glove and reached under the fridge to try and grab the cat and pull it out. It was a small female, I figured with the glove I would be fine.
Now, this cat had let us pick it up and handle it before, I was not expecting what happened next. The cat nailed my hand HARD, all 4 fangs punctured the thick leather and went well into my hand, and the crushing force was surprising, it felt like my hand was being crushed with a pair of pliers.
I jerked my hand out from under the fridge with the cat still attached. At this point I was trying to get my hand free, but the cat then wrapped its front paws around my arm in an "embrace", and those rear claws sliced down my forearm. They tore through the skin of my forearm for a few inches and then stopped, pulling the skin tight. I remember looking at my arm in shock in with a sort of detached sense of wonder, seeing the claws completely embedded in the skin and pulling it very tight as they tried to rip downwards, but my skin was holding against the pressure for now.
So, not sure what else to do, and blood running freely from my wounds in my arm, I did the only thing I could think of. With my free hand, I grabbed the cat's neck and started choking. The cat tightened its grip and tried harder to rip at my arm with its rear claws but my skin was holding (and this was a small female cat). I squeezed its neck tightly to try and choke it out, for what seemed like forever. Finally the cat's grip loosened and it started to relax its whole body as it lost consciousness.
As soon as the cat went limp enough that the claws let loose, I threw it away from me with both hands and retreated to a safe distance and watched, ready to run if it came after me. The cat just laid there on its side for about one minute, panting.
If all of that wasn't crazy enough, the next part really surprised me. After a minute or so the cat lifted its head, and got its bearings. She still stayed lying down for a couple more minutes, sort of composing herself, then she got up. She looked at me, and just walked away, going about her business as if nothing had happened between us.
All of this is true, and though it is hard to believe, after this incident, the cat approached me every day to beg for food, and we became good friends. The cat would sleep in my bed, bring us dead birds and lizards, and loved being scratched and cuddled. I'm allergic so I would bathe her once or twice a week, which she didn't love but she allowed without much of a fuss at all. She was the sweetest pet you could ask for, and when I moved on to another town I was very sad to leave her. I was a church missionary at the time and couldn't take her with me, there were rules. I arranged for her to live with a family nearby who was happy to have her, and I hope she lived a long and happy life with them after that! She was a very strange and interesting creature to say the least.
Last Edit: Sept 14, 2012 15:13:59 GMT -5 by mikeybox
Respect earned...that means a lot with cats. She decided you were every bit the top of the food chain. Scary but true and yes those back claws are lethal. If they manage to grab with their teeth and fronts, those back claws are meant to disembowel prey....think of the giant cats and you get the picture. No, sweet little kitty is very much a killing machine, no less than our ferrets. It's one of the reasons why such care must be taken when introducing and allowing these two predators to share space ciao
Yeah it was eye-opening to say the least, I never looked at cats quite the same way again. I can't stress this enough, this was a SMALL female cat, smaller than average. A large cat could have REALLY been a handful!
I think we also forget sometimes how strong the jaws are on cats and ferrets both. When I was researching the safety of keeping cats with ferrets, I saw some people commenting that they didn't think the ferrets had strong enough jaws to tangle with a cat.
If watching them crack open chicken bones wasn't enough of a reminder, I had a painful reminder yesterday. My nephew's little Marshall boy Rosco is staying with me, and he's a little on the small side, about 2.5 lbs. He was in one of those clear plastic Marshall crinkly tubes, and he was biting at the wrinkles in the tube. I thought I would tease him a little by poking my finger at the plastic wall of the tube.
Big mistake. I have no doubt this was an accident, but he nailed my finger good. It was just a quick nip, but the force was enough for his canine to go through the plastic tube, through my fingernail, and deep into my finger! And this was just a quick nip, but one that lacked the normal restraint that they normally show when playing with humans, because he didn't think he was nipping my hand, he was nipping the wall of the tube. OUCH!
I have no doubt that when they want to those jaws can break a finger!
We may get the mistaken idea that ferrets won't do this or won't do that, or that they will be gentle, but they are only being gentle with us, because they don't want to hurt us. If they wanted to they could do a lot of damage with those teeth ;D I think from what I have seen, even most ferrets who are "biters" don't even bite people full-force! If they did, we would be talking about fangs fully embedded in you, down to the bone lol...
Last Edit: Sept 14, 2012 15:22:40 GMT -5 by mikeybox
I can attest to that. Minion scraped the bone in two of the bites that he nailed me with last year. One of those bites was through the meat part of my hand under the thumb. I had so many bite marks on my hand I had to wear a glove as for the first time in my life, I was actually getting infections from the bites. A ferret who has the intention of doing damage in a bite, will not let go but grinds the jaws to close them and adjusts the grip. Minion would do that and then gator roll, this creates a tearing motion as well and a full grind bite. That is why it's best to relax rather than fight. The instinct like a cats, is to hang on tighter as somewhere in their minds....the prey is escaping. ciao
Post by mustelidblues on Sept 14, 2012 18:48:03 GMT -5
I rescued a 2 week old kitten (Elsabet) three years ago, and at her age, she hadn't been litter box trained. So when I did have to leave her to go to the store or what have you, I caged her with my ferrets (all gentle souls at that time.) She grew up knowing and loving the ferrets and she still plays with them, snuggles with them, and sleeps in their cages.
So there are times where it works out. But, there are certainly many times where it doesn't, and if he is truly a Bengal-mix, I would be very hesitant because his hybrid breed can be much more prey-motivated, and he may see the ferrets as prey.
If introduced properly and both species given adequate alone-time, I think a cat is a nice addition to the family. Our older cat, Quinn, was brought home last year at age 6. She hates the ferrets, and is terrified of them. She could probably do damage if she wanted to, but she isn't given the time with them to afford that chance.
Every pet is an individual!
Also, my cats are both raw fed also, and they are odorless. Litter boxes are scooped daily. We use Dr. Elsey's Senior Cat Litter with them for a few reasons, it is not clumping though (which is a turn-off for many.)
Mama to Tank, Mudflap, NB's War Paint (Smudge) and NB's Under the Radar (Banshee.)
I can also attest to the strength of a full on ferret bite. I felt Willow's teeth grating against the bones in my hands 9 time in the first 2-3 days we had her, and she was only 5 months old. I actually lost most of the use in one of my thumbs for about 3 weeks from ONE of her bites.
Judge, Indie, Odin, Mr. Frodo, Miss Emily, Cody, Lucrezia, Willow, Suki. Mr. Stubbs, Ligeia, Herne, Watson. DIP Sinnead, Vincent, Boris, Zeus and Athena.